LIBRARIES: Villagers’ fight to save libraries goes on

Alice Lorimer (second right), with her Bookstart Bear Passport, and Peter Lorimer were among protestors demonstrating their support for Donington Library. Photo: SG170813-225TW
Alice Lorimer (second right), with her Bookstart Bear Passport, and Peter Lorimer were among protestors demonstrating their support for Donington Library. Photo: SG170813-225TW

Village groups are continuing their fight to save their library services – and are calling on council chiefs to listen to their pleas.

Lincolnshire County Council is in the midst of a consultation on plans to save £2 million which may involve shutting 32 libraries and axing 170 posts.

Donington, Kirton and Coningsby are all on the at-risk list – with villagers vowing to fight to save their libraries.

In Donington there will be a public meeting on Friday at 6pm at the Ruby Hunt Centre.

The library attracts users from Quadring, Gosberton and Bicker as well as Donington and is home to a monthly police surgery.

South Holland district councillor Jane King said the building plays a key role in village life and added: “The last thing Donington needs is another empty building.”

Kirton councillors have attended a Boston consultation meeting and made their case to keep the library open.

Figures previously released by The Standard showed that the number of new users in Kirton rose - from 155 in 2006 to 267 in 2011.

Parish council vice chairman Ian Turner said that recent census figures also showed Kirton’s population rose 15.8 per cent between 2001 and 2011. They argue Kirton is bigger than some of the places that would keep their library if the cuts go ahead.

Coun Turner stressed some users come from Hoffleet Stow and Frampton and that people using the library often go on to spend money in the village’s shops.

Coun Turner said: “We would hope they listen to the comments, which I think were very valid on the population growth and demography of the population.”

Work is already underway on a ‘plan B’ – with people volunteering to help run a reduced-hours library and locations for that service in Kirton are being explored.

The council will still fight to save the library outright in the meantime, however.

The consultation document can be viewed at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk or at libraries. Responses must be received by September 30.